"By the year 2018, we envision a dynamic and vibrant church of caring, witnessing, and mission-oriented parishes"
BISHOP'S CONVENTION ADDRESS
“Offer yourselves as Living Sacrifice...”
Greetings of Shalom and a warm welcome to each and every one of you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as we gather together again for our 41st Diocesan Convention.
Let me first extend special greetings to our host congregation of the Cathedral of All Saints! Here we are again in this beautiful cathedral and spacious compound to worship, have fellowship and deliberate on the mission and ministry of our Diocese. To the Cathedral Chapter, Cathedral ECW, Cathedral BSA, Cathedral Youth and Cathedral staff led by Dean Amos Kollin and assisted by Deacon Matthew Napat-a; Dr. Dennis Faustino, our new headmaster of All Saints Mission School and his faculty and administrative staff, and deacon intern Ms. Elvie Tulingan who is our new matron of the ASM Girls Dormitory---thank you very much for welcoming us again this annual diocesan family affair.
May we now reflect on the theme on our convention this year which is taken from Paul’s letter to the Romans.
The letter to the Romans as students of biblical studies learn is the longest and most profound theologically among the St. Paul’s epistles. Paul wrote this letter sometimes in 57 A.D. although some biblical scholars opine that it was written earlier, while he was Corinth. According to Paul himself, his work of evangelization in the East (Asia Minor and Greece) is done so he was taking it easy in Corinth while contemplating his next move of striking the West after delivering his collection of alms for the poor in Jerusalem. Paul was not under pressure, he was relax and reflective mood while writing this letter that’s why it is most organized, longest and weightiest of the Pauline letters.
Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome, whom he has never met, to introduce himself and to preach the gospel in line with his apostolic call to bring about obedience to the faith among Gentiles and Jews alike. Unlike other Paul’s letters that were written to address specific issues of the local church e.g. problems of divisiveness and immorality in Corinth, the problem of false teachers in Galatia, Romans is more general in theme. Basically, the theme is the meaning of salvation in Christ.
“Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to Him.” The scriptural basis for this is found in Romans chapter 12 verses 1a which reads, “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I appeal to you therefore to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and Holy sacrifice- the kind he will accept.” Iti Ilocano kunana, “ Kakabsat ko, dawatek ngarud kadakayo, a gapu iti naindaklan nga asi ti Dios kadatayo, ipaayyo koma ti bagiyo a kas daton a sibibiag, nasantoan ken makaay-ayo kenkuana. Daytoy ti pudno a panagdaydayaw a rumbeng nga ipaayyo.
In 1972, by mandate of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America (ECUSA), the Missionary Diocese of the Philippines was divided into three dioceses, namely: Northern Philippines, Central Philippines, and Southern Philippines.
The Diocese of Northern Philippines then had twelve provinces under its jurisdiction: Abra, Aurora, Batanes, Cagayan, Ifugao, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Isabela, Kalinga-Apayao, Mountain Province, Nueva Viscaya and Quirino Province.
To start with, the Diocese of Northern Philippines was endowed with about 32,000 baptized members who were distributed in 2 full-fledged parishes, an aided parish, 25 organized missions and 111 mission stations. The Diocese also inherited 29 pre-schools, 3 high schools, an elementary school, a training center for women evangelists, a convent, an orphanage, a hospital, and 4 dispensaries.
The rapid growth and expansion in membership led to the division of the Diocese of Northern Philippines in 1986. The northernmost provinces of Abra, Batanes, Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur and Kalinga-Apayao comprised the new Diocese of Northern Luzon.
The adjoining provinces of Ifugao, Mountain Province, Isabela, Aurora and Quirino and certain parts of Abra, Ilocos Sur and Kalinga became the “continuing” diocese and continued using the name of the original Diocese of Northern Philippines.
The Diocese of Northern Philippines was divided again in 2000 reducing further its area coverage with the formation of its eastern portion into the new Episcopal Diocese of Santiago.
The jurisdiction of the continuing Diocese of Northern Philippines at present includes the municipalities of Barlig, Bauko, Besao, Bontoc, Sabangan, Sadanga, Sagada and Tadian in Mountain Province; Quirino, Cervantes, Salcedo, Del Pilar and San Emilio in Ilocos Sur; Tubo Municipality in Abra, and Tinglayan Municipality in Kalinga.
All Saints Cathedral, Bontoc, Mountain Province
St. Benedict’s Parish, Kin-iway, Besao, Mountain Province
Parish of St. Mary the Virgin, Poblacion, Sagada, Mountain Province
Holy Apostles Parish, Abatan, Bauko, Mountain Province
St. Annes’ Parish, Besao Proper, Besao, Mountain Province
St. Gregory & St. Andrew’s Parish, Bagnen, Mountain Province
St. Michael’s & All Angel’s Parish, Tadian, Mountain Province
St. Clement’s Parish, Payeo, Besao, Mountain Province
St. Matthew’s Parish, Bangaan, Sagada, Mountain Province
St. Joseph’s Parish, Masla, Tadian, Mountain Province
St. Gabriel’s Parish, Lubon, Tadian